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10 things you need to know today: March 22, 2014
Chinese satellites capture new images in search for missing plane, Putin welcomes Crimea as a Russian territory, and more
 
The search continues.
The search continues. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith/Pool)

1. Chinese satellites spot debris in search for missing jet
More than two weeks and plenty of false leads into the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Chinese satellites captured images on Saturday of an object floating in the Indian Ocean. The discovery comes just a few days after Australian satellites picked up imagery of similar debris about 100 miles away. “Tenuous though it is, this is the first credible evidence of anything that has happened to flight MH370,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. [The Washington Post]
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2. Putin completes 'official' annexation of Crimea
Despite warnings from Western powers, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession on Friday afternoon, effectively bringing disputed peninsula Crimea back under Russian control. The move pushed Ukraine closer toward the United States and the European Union, with Ukrainian leaders meeting with the E.U. in Brussels to negotiate more economic aid for the country. Meanwhile, in Crimean cities Simferopol and Sevastopol, along with Russian capital Moscow, "festive fireworks" rained down as part of a celebration approved by Putin. [The Washington Post, ITAR -TASS News Agency]
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3. Thai court throws out national election results
After months of violent protests ahead of a Feb. 2 election, Thailand's Constitutional Court nullified the results this week in a 6-3 vote. Judges said illegal actions such as early voting and intimidation of potential candidates rendered the results, which returned power to ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her party, void. A date for new elections has not yet been set, but officials fear more bloodshed in the interim; 23 people were killed in street clashes prior to the Feb. 2 vote. [NPR]
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4. Israel discovers tunnel stretching from Gaza
Israeli military officials pegged Hamas, the militant Palestinian faction controlling the Gaza Strip, with development of a tunnel six to eight yards deep and made with "advanced concrete slabs." Military officials said the tunnel would likely have been used to abduct or kidnap Israelis. However, a spokesman for Hamas identified only as Abu Obaida said that was not the case: "This is not a new tunnel, and it was uncovered due to the rainstorm last week. The discovery was not an intelligence achievement, as the enemy tries to promote." [The New York Times]
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5. Syria halts first aid convoy attempting to reach civilians
Less than 24 hours into a humanitarian mission that spent months in negotiations, Syria barred a United Nations convoy from entering the country. The trucks, carrying food, medicine and bedding to some of the 9.3 million Syrian civilians in need of aid, were halted in customs. The Syrian government maintained the delay was because of a public holiday on Thursday and normally scheduled weekend border closures on Friday, but one western aid official, who spoke with Reuters on condition of anonymity, had a different take: "The regime will use all sorts of hurdles to delay things," he said. "The Security Council resolution calls for free and unhindered access…It is not free and unhindered." [Reuters]
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6. Judge strikes down Michigan gay marriage ban
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman declared a Michigan law banning gay marriage unconstitutional on Friday, writing in his 31-page ruling that "many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives…" but that those beliefs "cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law." Clerks began issuing marriage licenses and performing marriages this morning. [Detroit Free Press, The Associated Press]
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7. Four dead, including Superstorm Sandy survivors, in New Jersey motel fire
A fire broke out on Friday morning in a New Jersey beach motel, killing four men and injuring eight more people. About 40 people were staying in the motel, which relies on short-term tenants during the slow winter months, many of whom had lost homes in Superstorm Sandy. The cause of the blaze is not yet known. "I don't know how anyone could have survived those flames," Joe Frystock, a Sandy victim staying at the motel, said. "The entire second floor was engulfed, from one end to another." [The Associated Press]
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8. Mt. Gox finds millions of dollars' worth of missing Bitcoins
Following a bankruptcy declaration, Mt. Gox announced on Thursday it had recouped some of the 850,000 Bitcoins that disappeared in a mid-February cyber attack. The online exchange discovered the missing currency in one of its own wallets, a type of digital bank account. Mt. Gox said the wallet was assumed empty because it used an older format, but the company discovered 200,000 missing Bitcoins there, or about $116 million, mostly belonging to customers. [TIME]
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9. Scientists discover waves on Saturn's moon Titan
Scientists studying Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have discovered waves — the first time such activity has been seen in any lakes and seas not on Earth. Titan's waves aren't water, though. Instead, liquid methane and ethane make up those liquid bodies, and the "waves" recorded hit heights of roughly two centimeters. Not exactly prime surfing conditions, but the discovery nevertheless bolsters some scientists' claim that Titan is one of the few worlds in our solar system capable of hosting life forms. [Los Angeles Times]
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10. Warren Buffett’s $1 billion bracket challenge fails to produce winner
Just 25 games and less than a week into March Madness, Warren Buffett is already safe. The billionaire's Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Challenge promised to pay up to anyone who successfully filled out a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket on Yahoo Sports’ website. But with first-round upsets such as Mercer over Duke, Dayton over Ohio State and Stephen F. Austin over VCU, contenders quickly saw their dreams of wealth vanish. Now, fans will just have to watch for the exciting plays. [For The Win]

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Sarah Eberspacher is an associate editor at TheWeek.com. She has previously worked as a sports reporter at The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus and The Arizona Republic. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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